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COVID pandemic: RAI seeks fiscal support from government

Mar '20
Pic: Grzegorz Czapski / Shutterstock.com
Pic: Grzegorz Czapski / Shutterstock.com
In view of the possibility that the Covid-19 pandemic could last longer than the lockdown period of 8-10 weeks, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) has urged the government to provide various fiscal supports like moratorium of 120 days for payment of instalments and the interest of all types of loans effective from March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020.

The possibility that the lockdown period may need an extension necessitates urgent steps by the government to work on an immediate solution (60 days) as well as a medium-term solution (180 days), RAI said.

In terms of fiscal supports, RAI has asked for moratorium of 120 days for payment of instalments and the interest of term loans, short-term loans, corporate loans, securitised loans, bonds, mortgages, debentures and general-purpose loans for the period from March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. It has also requested for wages subsidy, subsidy on utility bills, an extension of the due date of compliances and payment of statutory dues like Advance Tax, GST, ESIC, PF, etc for payments falling due between March 1 and June 30, 2020.

Over the past few days, RAI has requested all the 29 state governments of the country to allow all food and grocery stores within malls or outside, air-conditioned or not air-conditioned, small size store or large size store to stay open during the lockdown period. "Most of the state governments have agreed with RAI’s view that shutting of supermarkets will cause gross inconvenience to citizens and may set off panic buying of daily need items in the state, thereby creating a shortage for the needy," RAI said in an e-mail communication to Fibre2Fashion.

"Due to the mandatory closure of malls and retail stores across states, retailers face imminent financial crisis/insolvency. As a result, the livelihoods of millions employed in retail are in peril. RAI has submitted representations to the Prime Minister’s Office, department for promotion of industry & internal trade (DPIIT), the commerce ministry, and the finance ministry to help the retail industry cope with the detrimental effects on business in the wake of coronavirus pandemic," the communication said.

RAI has also written to the Reserve Bank of India, the State Bank of India and the chief ministers of all the states urgently requesting an immediate economic stimulus to ensure continuity of retail businesses and consumption in India. 

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (RKS)

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